University of Leicester
2020ALGHAMDISPhD..pdf (2.68 MB)

An Investigation of Teachers’ Professional Learning in the Age of Reform

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posted on 2020-07-10, 08:47 authored by Sadia M. Alghamdi
Whether schools should undertake reforms regarding their systems is no longer an issue. Indeed, many schools around the world have begun to implement educational reforms designed to support student learning. Saudi Arabia is one such country and has recently launched a national educational reform to achieve this. The reform project has been implemented in some secondary schools across Saudi Arabia. The reform aims to support schools in moving towards building a professional learning community.
Teachers are the key figures here as they have a direct influence upon students. Few studies have explored the policies of teacher professional learning or the different strategies adopted in developing such communities (Mitchell, Riley and Loughram, 2010). The key question now has thus become what the reform outcomes are in terms of teacher professional learning in such schools. This doctoral study investigated the policies of the reform, the strategies that school members adopt to develop such a community, and the viewpoints of such stakeholders in relation to their experience of professional learning under the reform.
This study is a qualitative case study of one female secondary school in Saudi Arabia. The research has sought the perspectives of participants from different levels.
The findings highlighted the key themes that influence teacher professional learning – including the restructuring undertaken and the operating of the school differently via the creating of new teams and roles within the school. In addition, the findings shed light on the different internal strategies adopted by participants to enhance their professional capacity. This study, furthermore, has highlighted the external support required to enhance a school’s movement towards being a professional learning community and the factors that hinder such movement. Overall, this study has revealed the challenges faced in putting the reform policies into practice. There is a need for more consideration to be given to this area as a result of the complexity of the context and the impact of the school culture when implementing new polices.



Chris Wilkins; Wasyl Cajkler

Date of award


Author affiliation

School of Education

Awarding institution

University of Leicester

Qualification level

  • Doctoral

Qualification name

  • PhD



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